Updated: 9/24/2018 1:00:49 AM
About 6,000 to 8,000 people in Georgetown County, South Carolina, were alerted to be prepared to evacuate ahead of a "record event" of up to 3 metres of flooding expected from heavy rains dumped by Florence, county spokeswoman Jackie Broach-Akers said.
She said flooding was expected to begin on Tuesday (local time) near parts of the Pee Dee and Waccamaw rivers and that people in potential flood zones should plan to leave their homes on Monday.
Updated: 9/18/2018 11:16:50 AM
Tropical Cyclone "Florence" spawned multiple tornadoes near Richmond, Virginia on September 17, 2018, killing one person and injuring another. This brought the death toll caused by Florence to at least 32. Local media is describing the outbreak as historic.
Updated: 9/17/2018 12:04:24 PM
Florence produced up to 1000 mm of rain over parts of North Carolina from Thursday, September 13 to Monday, September 17, causing 'unprecedented and historic flooding.' At least 5 locations in the state have already exceeded flooding produced by Hurricane "Floyd" 19 years ago, the National Weather Service (NWS) said.
As of early September 16, Florence stands as the 6th highest tropical rainfall total across the United States since 1950 when such record-keeping began.
More than 1 million households and businesses were left without power and more than 460 000 remain without power in North Carolina and 17 000 in South Carolina as of 07:00 UTC on September 17.
Updated: 9/16/2018 4:19:07 AM
Florence has led to at least 14 deaths as its devastating rainfall continues to inundate parts of the Carolinas.
Since making landfall on Friday morning, nearly 1 million people have lost power. Flooding has taken over entire towns, and officials are working frantically to restore power and rescue those trapped.
Thousands of National Guard troops are in the area, while some good Samaritans have also been on the scene.
More than 24 hours have passed since Florence made landfall. The storm is no longer a hurricane, but flooding issues only continue to mount across the Carolinas.
Excessive rainfall will contribute to more catastrophic flooding across southeastern and south-central North Carolina and into northeastern South Carolina.
Gusty winds downing trees, isolated tornadoes and coastal flooding can further damage property and increase power outages.
Updated: 9/15/2018 6:56:59 AM
Florence was downgraded to a tropical storm Friday, but despite the dip, Florence continued deluging the area Saturday with storm-force winds swirling 350 miles wide. It is expected to weaken to a tropical depression by late Saturday, forecasters said.
Response and rescue operations are underway Saturday in the Carolinas after Tropical Storm Florence battered homes up and down the coast, killing at least seven people and leaving millions of others in the dark.
Officials warned residents that while the wind has backed off some, the torrential downpour will likely continue through the weekend, producing flash floods and possible landslides -- making it difficult for evacuated residents to return home and assess the damage.
The storm will dump rain in the Carolinas through the weekend, overwhelming rivers and setting up days of flooding, before reaching the Ohio Valley.
Updated: 9/15/2018 2:10:03 AM
It has been downgraded from a hurricane to a tropical storm but continues to soak the East Coast area with rain, downing trees and damaging homes.
It is slowly grinding over the eastern states, with winds of 105km/h.
Five deaths have been linked to the storm and thousands of people have been staying in emergency shelters.
Evacuation warnings were issued for 1.7 million people in the region.
At least five people have died in the storm.
As Florence moves further inland over the coming days, the storm is expected to gradually weaken. Forecasters say it could become a depression by Saturday night.
Updated: 9/14/2018 9:07:21 AM
The Category 1 hurricane, with punishing winds and dumping 7.6 cm of rain an hour, made landfall at 7:15 a.m. ET near Wrightsville Beach, just east of Wilmington.
South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster issued a mandatory evacuation for all coastal zones starting Tuesday.
Forecasters at the National Hurricane Center have said Florence is expected to be an extremely dangerous storm by the time it nears the coast of South Carolina or North Carolina on Thursday.
Hurricane Florence has already caused significant damage to the North Carolina coast and damage comes before the eye of the storm has hit.
In the besieged North Carolina city of New Bern, rescuers by midmorning Friday had plucked more than 200 people from rising waters, but about 150 more had to wait as conditions worsened and a storm surge reached 3 meters, officials said.
City spokeswoman Colleen Roberts told ABC News that volunteers are using private boats to pitch in and help. "You may need to move up to the second story, or to your attic, but WE ARE COMING TO GET YOU," the city said in a tweet.
The flooding started Thursday night and continued into Friday. As the hours passed, the floodwaters continued to rise.
By Thursday night, the city had already experienced heavy flooding, with waist-deep and shoulder-deep waters.
Many streets are flooded and heavy winds have knocked down fences and trees. It's estimated that the storm will dump 1 trillion gallons of water.
Multiple rescues have already been made, the Craven County EMS told ABC News.
Florence's rain will reach more than 1 meter in some parts of the Carolinas, forecasters said. Rainfall totals will be similar to those in hurricanes Dennis and Floyd in 1999, Chris Wamsley of the National Weather Service said Friday morning.
"The only difference is, back then it was within 14 days," he said. With Florence, "we're looking at the same amount of rainfall in three days."
Updated: 9/14/2018 2:02:56 AM
Hurricane Florence's eyewall is making its way toward North Carolina on Friday, as the Category 1 storm lashed the coast and appeared ready to cause catastrophic flooding. State officials are bracing for the worst. Authorities in the town of New Bern, N.C., were working with federal responders to rescue at least 150 residents who reported themselves stranded in Florence's storm surge.
As of 3 a.m. local time on Friday, 185,312 residents were without power, according to ABC 11. Most of those affected are living in Beaufort, Carteret, Craven, New Hanover, Pamlico, Pender and Onslow counties near the coast, the station reported.
The storm was downgraded late Thursday to a Category 1, as the North Carolina coast was battered by hurricane-force winds and a life-threatening storm surge.
It lost power as it approached North and South Carolina, but officials warn it could still kill "a lot of people" amid risks of "catastrophic" flooding.
The NHC says that despite the gradual lowering in wind strength, the storm remains extremely dangerous because of the high volume of rainfall and storm surges predicted.
"Inland flooding kills a lot of people, unfortunately, and that's what we're about to see," said Brock Long, head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (Fema).
Updated: 9/13/2018 7:57:41 AM
The first rains of Hurricane Florence were starting to lash North Carolina on Thursday, with the storm growing in size, packing winds of up to 177 km/h and driving a storm surge that could reach 4 meters in places.
Though its wind speeds have dropped to make it a Category 2 storm, forecasters warned that the hurricane retained its potential to deliver catastrophic, life-threatening damage, including drenching some areas with up to 1 meter of rain.
The cloud coverage from the storm, an indication of its size, is as large as the Carolinas.
Updated: 9/13/2018 2:09:10 AM
Up to 1.7 million people have been ordered to evacuate across South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia.
Some 5.25 million people are under hurricane warning or watch, and another 4.9 million people are under storm warning or watch, Associated Press reported.
Updated: 9/13/2018 2:03:36 AM
Florence's winds may have dropped to 175km/h but its slow-moving nature could mean it lingers for days, bringing catastrophic flooding.
Some 10 million people are now under some form of storm watch as Florence now be heading further south, and Georgia is the latest state to declare an emergency.
It joins North and South Carolina, Virginia, Maryland and Washington DC.
Updated: 9/12/2018 2:33:41 AM
Motorists streamed inland on highways converted to one-way evacuation routes Tuesday as about 1.7 million people in three states were warned to get out of the way of Hurricane Florence. The hair-raising storm is taking dead aim at the Carolinas with 140 mph winds and potentially ruinous rains.
"This storm is a monster. It's big and it's vicious. It is an extremely, dangerous, life-threatening, historic hurricane," North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper said."The waves and the wind this storm may bring is nothing like you've ever seen. Even if you've ridden out storms before, this one is different. Don't bet your life on riding out a monster."
President Trump declared states of emergency for North and South Carolina and Virginia, opening the way for federal aid. He said the federal government is "absolutely, totally prepared" for Florence. All three states ordered mass evacuations along the coast. But getting out of harm's way could prove difficult.
Updated: 9/11/2018 6:33:27 AM
Governors of Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina have declared states of emergency ahead of the storm and more than 1.5 million people have already evacuated coastal areas.
Computer-model forecasts generally project Florence to make landfall between northern South Carolina and North Carolina’s Outer Banks as a Category 4 Hurricane on Thursday, September 13.
While shifts in the track are still possible, storm impacts will expand great distances beyond where landfall occurs and there is a potential for Florence's forward speed to slow and possibly stall, leading to more than 500 mm (20 inches) of rainfall on some of the already saturated ground which would lead to catastrophic flash flooding and major river flooding in parts of the Carolinas, Virginia and other neighboring states.
If Florence makes landfall as a Category 4 in North Carolina, it would be the strongest storm to come ashore that far north on record.
Updated: 9/11/2018 1:24:55 AM
More than a million people living along the coastlines of South Carolina and Virginia have been ordered to evacuate their homes on Tuesday, as parts of America’s mid-Atlantic coast brace for what could be the most powerful storm to ever hit the region.
Currently rated as a category 4 storm – the second most powerful on the national weather service’s (NWS) classification system - Florence would be the first storm of that magnitude in recorded history to strike the eastern coastline so far north if it remains on its most likely track.
Florence “is particularly big, particularly strong and ... there’s nothing stopping it,” the South Carolina governor Henry McMaster said at a news conference on Monday. “And when it hits the Gulf Stream in warmer water, it’s going to [intensify] even more.”
McMaster ordered the evacuation of coastal areas to start at noon on Tuesday as Hurricane Florence approaches. He said the storm surge could reach as high as 10ft (3m) and estimated that 1 million residents would be leaving the coast.
Virginia’s governor ordered a mandatory evacuation for some residents of low-lying coastal areas beginning on Tuesday morning. State officials say 245,000 people live in the affected area, but officials warned the storm could affect the entire state.
Updated: 9/10/2018 4:27:48 AM
Hurricane Florence will make its way westward, likely toward the Carolinas later this week.
Winds are now 105 mph. It is over warm water and a favorable upper level environment so rapid strengthening is forecast and Florence is forecast to be a major hurricane Monday morning.
There is an increasing risk of storm surge at the coast and damaging hurricane-force winds in the Carolinas. There could also be major inland flooding from a prolonged heavy rainfall event.
While Florence is forecast to stay north of Florida, large swells will impact the east coast of our state resulting in life-threatening surf and rip currents.
Updated: 9/9/2018 11:06:58 AM
Hurricane "Florence" is forecast to rapidly intensify into a major hurricane by September 10, and remain extremely dangerous Category 4 hurricane while it moves over the western Atlantic toward the southeastern United States. There is an increased risk of two life-threatening impacts from Florence: storm surge at the coast and freshwater flooding from a prolonged heavy rainfall event inland. While it is too soon to determine the exact timing, location, and magnitude of these impacts, interests at the coast and inland from South Carolina into the mid-Atlantic region should closely monitor the progress of Florence, ensure they have their hurricane plan in place, and follow any advice given by local officials.
On the current forecast track, the center of Hurricane "Florence" will move over the southwestern Atlantic Ocean between Bermuda and the Bahamas on September 11 and 12, and approach the southeastern U.S. coast on September 13.
The system is forecast to rapidly strengthen to a major hurricane by September 10, and remain an extremely dangerous major hurricane as it moves over the western Atlantic toward the United States.
Updated: 9/8/2018 2:55:00 AM
The approaching storm prompted North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper to declare a state of emergency, a step that makes resources available for addressing the storm's effects.
In a 5 a.m. ET Saturday update, the National Hurricane Center placed the storm southeast of Bermuda, with maximum sustained winds of 65 mph. It was moving west at 9 mph.
The storm was expected to bring heavy rain, dangerous surf and rip currents to North Carolina, where Cooper called on residents, specifically farmers, to make preparations.
Updated: 9/6/2018 8:11:15 AM
Hurricane "Florence" underwent a rapid intensification phase on September 5, 2018 and became the first major hurricane of the 2018 Atlantic hurricane season. The cyclone has slightly weakened yesterday but is forecast to remain a strong hurricane for the next several days and possibly restrengthen. It's still to early to be sure where the cyclone will end, but current track takes its center near Bermuda and toward U.S. East Coast. Regardless of Florence's eventual track, large swells emanating from the hurricane will reach Bermuda beginning on Friday, September 7 and portions of the U.S. East Coast this weekend, resulting in life-threatening surf and rip currents.
Published Thursday, September 6, 2018
Florence, the first major storm of this year's Atlantic hurricane season, was upgraded to a Category 4 storm Wednesday as forecasters warned it could cause "life-threatening" surf and rip current conditions in Bermuda later this week.
According to the National Hurricane Center, Florence's maximum sustained winds are estimated to be 130 miles per hour. The storm is centered about 1,295 miles east-southeast of Bermuda and is moving northwest at 13 mph.
Forecasters have said they expect Florence to weaken somewhat over the next couple of days, but the storm is predicted to remain a powerful hurricane through early next week.
The National Hurricane Center said that the swells generated by Florence would begin to affect Bermuda on Friday. There are no watches or warnings currently in effect for the U.S.
Hurricane Florence Facts
Affected Area: 200 km.
Alert Level: Orange
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